New age main criticisms

8 – Occultism, a considerable danger

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From a Christian perspective

The New Age worldview as well as occultism are both on the rise. The world of the occult not only brings a false message but a dangerous one as well. With or without knowledge, New Agers expose themselves to a considerable danger.

Unfortunately a lot of Christians, especially those who do not have a strong personal relationship with Jesus, are deceived into practicing New Age.

The concept of transformation has a different meaning in New Age compared to Christianity.

Regarding the existence of spiritual beings, many worldviews seem to agree including some famous atheists.

 

New Age practices imply occultism. The New Age worldview as well as occultism are both on the rise.

Author and speaker Patrick Zukeran, said: “Why is there such an interest in the occult? Experts point to several factors. The first is disillusionment with the church and organized religion. The second factor is curiosity. There is an attraction to the occult that appeals to our interest in the unseen. Many begin with “harmless” dabbling, but this can often lead to more. Third, there is the quest for power. People want control over the future, spirits, or over other individuals. There are 3 primary categories of the occult world: divination, magic, and spiritism.

Divination is the attempt to foretell the future and thereby shape our lives accordingly. The divination arts include astrology, zodiac charts, crystal balls, tarot cards, palm reading, psychics, numerology, and horoscopes. The second category is magic or paganism. Those in magic attempt to control the present by ceremonies, charms, and spells. The magic arts include witchcraft, white magic, black magic, sorcery, Satanism, black mass, and witch doctors. Occultists say they can use hidden forces in the spiritual realm to manipulate people and circumstances.

Then there is spiritism. Those involved in spiritism attempt to communicate with the dead and receive information or help from them.”

Types of mystical experience would include any paranormal attempt to transcend the bounds of our physical world. The out-of-body experiences reported by psychics fit into this category. Other examples would be telekinesis, clairvoyance, psychic trances, necromancy, psychic healing etc

A growing number of people are embracing New Age practices.

(Sources: ‘The World of the Occult’ by Pat Zukeran, Probe Ministries)

 

The world of the occult not only brings a false message, but a dangerous one as well.

According to a majority of Christian authors who studied the New Age movement, New Agers flirt with the occult in their attempt to achieve a higher consciousness. Although these practices are frequently described in benign, innocent terms such as parapsychology, they involve direct contact with spiritual entities, and not with good ones but with those that seek to deceive and ultimately destroy human beings.

New Age adopters vary widely from those who have no idea what forces they expose themselves to, through the apparently innocent New Age techniques, to those that are highly initiated and know well they are being used and use the kingdom of darkness for different purposes.

Getting involved in pantheistic practices isn’t just a simple past-time or a mean to self improvement. These practices expose one to occult influences which could have lasting and damaging effects upon the mind, body and soul.

One common example are the TV shows featuring mediums who claim to communicate with people who have died. Unfortunately these people are actually communicating with spirits who tell half-truths about the past and lies about the future. It is a practice strictly forbidden by the Bible (see Leviticus 19:31). The Bible states that ‘God will set His face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists’ (Leviticus 20:6-7). According to the Bible, unless one is attempting to communicate with the One, Holy and True God – in ways that He has deemed acceptable – people need to understand that they are putting themselves at considerable personal risk.

Pat Zukeran adds: “Experiences with the occult drive us away from God and bring us into contact with the demonic realm. So many of the consciousness-altering techniques used by New Agers are forbidden by the Bible. The Bible warns against the danger of these practices. Jesus said the Devil is “a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) In dealing with the demonic, you cannot expect to deal in truth. The Devil and his legion only seek to “steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10) For this reason, Deuteronomy 18 labels the practices of witchcraft, sorcery, divination, necromancy, magical spells, being a medium or spiritualist, spirit channeling etc as ‘detestable’ practices that are to be avoided.”

Unfortunately New Agers make contact with the kingdom of darkness- with or without their knowledge. “Calling a medium a “channeler,” and a demon a “spirit guide” has not changed the reality of what they are. This is the kingdom of darkness of which Satan is the head, who asked Eve, “Has God said?” Those involved in this kind of activities are in contact with a world that is totally opposed to the biblical God revealed in Jesus Christ, a God who defeated Satan in His life (Matthew 4:1-11), and then through His death and bodily resurrection (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14-18). Christians should not only present the danger of the occult, but the message of life and victory found in Jesus Christ over the principalities of darkness.” (Reprinted by permission from Got Questions Ministries.)

(Sources: http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2010/01/09/pantheism-and-biblical-christianity/, Jesus among other gods’ by Ravi Zacharias, Probe Ministries, Got Questions Ministries)

 

What dangerous may mean for those involved in such practices.

Quoting Patrick Zukeran again, “what’s wrong with joining the Vampire Club or attending a séance?” your child may ask. But for some, exposure to the occult via fantasy games, the media, or music may lead to greater involvement in a dangerous world. As explained above the primary danger of the occult is that it is a path away from God that can bring the person into contact with the demonic realm. The demonic forces seek to deceive and destroy individuals. Therefore, contact with the demonic breeds numerous problems.

First, cult experts and psychologists have documented the connection between occult involvement and psychological and emotional disorders. Participants spend numerous hours studying, practicing, and playing games that involve conjuring demons, sacrificing creatures in cruel rituals, controlling sinister forces, and casting spells to disable and kill their enemies. This can affect a person’s spiritual, mental, and emotional state.

Second, there is the danger of spirit possession. The occult arts often require one to empty one’s mind and invite foreign spirits to control his or her intellect and body. For example, in operating a ouija board, participants are asked to empty their minds to allow other forces to guide them as they attempt to attain messages. In other games, participants are encouraged to call upon a spirit being to help guide them. These techniques open the door for spirit possession.

Third, there is also the danger of violence to oneself and others. Many cases of violence and suicides are connected to the occult.”

 

Unfortunately a lot of Christians, especially those who do not have a strong personal relationship with Jesus are deceived into practicing New Age.

Christoph Kreitz, Cornell University said: “Because Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has claimed that Transcendental Meditation is not a religion, many Jewish and Christian leaders have endorsed Transcendental Meditation to their congregations, and practice it themselves. But the origin of Transcendental Meditation, its initiation rite, nature, practice, and theory are religious at the core. Transcendental Meditation is pure Hinduism and is not compatible with Christianity. Christians who take up Transcendental Meditation or Yoga seriously, will eventually lose all love for their Savior and God, begin to accept other gospels, and start saying that God can be reached by other faiths.

… Transcendental Meditation is really not to be fooled with or toyed with. It is a cult, another lie of the devil, and cannot, in any form, be mixed with Christianity.”

There are many Christians who despite warnings practice New Age, read horoscopes, even consult psychics while wondering why they live in confusion and lack peace. The Bible clearly says that it is wrong to seek guidance through anything other than God Himself.

(Source: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/kreitz/christian/cults/9.newage.pdf )

The concept of transformation has a totally different meaning in New Age compared to Christianity.

Russ Wise, a former associate speaker with Probe Ministries, who has been an observer of the occult and cults (both Eastern and Western) for over 20 years, said: ‘Transformation is one of the key elements in the recipe to bring about the New Age. Change must take place in the lives of individuals as well as society. The New Ager sees his transformation as his becoming one with the universe, and as equal with all therefore, he has no need for a savior. He becomes more and more introspective as he looks within himself for answers, guidance, and so on.

Likewise, transformation is an important element in Christianity. The Christian is to be transformed (Rom. 12:2) from within, thereby presenting himself wholly acceptable to God. We are new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17), with a new nature (Eph. 4:24). This inward transformation, a renewing of the mind, results in an outward expression of care and concern for others.

For the New Ager, transformation is an open door to the occult world; for the Christian, transformation is the process whereby the believer becomes more Christlike.”

(Source: Probe Ministries)

 

Regarding the existence of spiritual beings, many worldviews seem to agree including some famous atheists.

Sigmund Freud said “It no longer seems possible to brush aside the study of so-called occult facts… the real existence of psychic forces… in which, until now, we did not believe.”

(Source: ‘Occult invasion’ by Dave Hunt)

Commenting on his own experiences with powers unknown Dr. Andrija Puharich  said: “I am personally convinced that superior beings from other spaces and other times have initiated a renewed dialogue with humanity. While I do not doubt their existence…I do not know what their goals are with respect to humankind.”

(Source: Ankerberg Theological research Institute, quoting Andrija Puharich, Uri: A journal of the mystery of Uri Geller -New York, 1975- pg 213)


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